Thursday, 19 May 2016

DR NEIL SPECTOR - Survivor of Heart disease caused by Lyme Disease TEDx talk

Published on May 18, 2016
Imagine that Personalized Medicine is anything but personal, where healthcare is delivered according to apps and algorithms, relegating the Art of Medicine obsolete. Dr. Spector remains a strong proponent of Personalized Medicine but not at the expense of losing the valued practice of medicine as an art rather than an exact science.

Dr. Neil Spector is the author of “Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physician’s Search for True Healing.” Neil Spector, MD, is also the Sandra Coates Associate Professor of Medicine, and Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University School of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Developmental Therapeutics at the Duke Cancer Institute. In addition, Dr. Spector is on the Advisory Boards for the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, Global Lyme Alliance and the Dean Center for Lyme Disease Rehab at the Spaulding Rehab Hospital, Harvard Medical School. After attending medical school and fulfilling his internal medicine residency a the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Spector completed his hematology medical oncology training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at 

Earlier post on Dr Spector talking about his experience with Lyme Disease which resulted in him having a heart transplant -

Tuesday, 17 May 2016


Lifting the Veil III conference 

A few notes from the conference, a video will be available from the AONM website in a couple of weeks.

Dr. Judy Mikovits Keynote Speech: The Terrain IS Everything! Lessons Learned from Four Decades of Immune Therapy.

Taking Mystic and misconceptions away from chronic diseases.
Many patterns of receptors on cells which bacteria can affect.
Plasticity in Immune response not one thing and one end result, it is a gradient and a tipping point.
How Borrelia affects immune system.
We are not thinking of vaccines as immune modulators, we are just thinking of them as disease control.
Advances in technologies reveal unintended consequences of current vaccine strategy.
Infants  can't develop immune responses but may develop an immune deficiency until 3 years old.
Recommended reading
Disease engines - sub clinical, microbial infection, oxidative stress, inflammation.
Chronic neuro diseases emerging in the last 4 decades as Acquired Immune Deficiencies.
Utilizing advances in technology to drive paradigm shifts in understanding of basic biology affords incredible opportunity to end suffering and restore quality of lives to millions worldwide.

Dr. Armin Schwarzbach Chronic Infections ­ Transmission within Families and the Consequences 
Dr Mikovits introduced Dr Schwarzbach saying he had diagnosed over 20,000 Lyme Disease cases.
Pathogen - infection- disease
2015 study - Germany Borrelia found in mosquitoes, also larva affected showing transmission.
Earlier studies found Borrelia in Horse flies.
1992 Deer Fly infected with Borrelia.
2015 Borrelia Miyamotoi could be transmitted by blood transfusion.
2014 Stricker study re sexual transmission may suggest yes but need more studies to be accepted.
2001 Dr MacDonald published In utero but there needs to be more data supporting this.
In utero transmission in dogs.
1995 Fetal outcome in murine Lyme Disease.
1991 Relative infective of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Lewis rats.
Some co infections
Bartonella - Fleas, Mosquitoes, sand flies
Babesia - blood transfusions
Rickettsia - very dangerous for heart
Coxiella Burnetii (Q fever) usually by inhalation also by tick bites.
Opportunistic infections:-
Herpes groups 1-6
Coxsackie virus
Are we too focused on Borrelia?
Are there other consequences of other infections within families to re infect?

Dr. Marjo Valonen Case Reports: Herbal and Nutritional Treatment Protocols in Lyme and Co­Infections
Treating herbals mainly in her clinic in Finland.
Used to use antibiotics and still does but more and more using herbals.
Describes it as a war fighting microbes.
Big part of our work is to rebuild
Discusses Horowitz MSIDS concept and likes to follow this.
Supplement plan includes
High quality nutrition
Vitamin C natural forms or liposomal
Fish oils
Discussed case studies. 
Uses Cowden plus other herbals repeating testing for Borrelia WB, Elispot, Cpn and other co infections.
Recommends TICKPLEX a new test
link to the clinic Dr Valonen runs 

Professor Malcolm Hooper 3 T(ear)s for PACE: Travesty of Science, Tragedy for Patients, Tantamount to Fraud 
Travesty of science
Tragedy for patients
Tantamount to fraud
Starts with Prof Wessley with Functional Somatic Syndrome in 1999
Abhors - Non specific symptoms, as if you look you can find symptoms.
Response is CBT and GET!
People are so fixated they have stopped thinking.
Discusses his involvement with GWvets, ME CFS Fibromyalgia, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity which are all syndromes of uncertain origin, another word Neurasthenic or M.U.S multiple unexplained symptoms. These are words of ignorance!
Organic phosphate poisoning - farmers
Aerotoxic syndrome - TCPs jet engine oils - pilots and cabin staff worst affected ( described by doctors as hyperventilation!)
Gulf War vets 25-30% are sick - used pesticides malathion etc, nerve gas sarin, given Pyridostigmine bromide - triple whammies.
Then given vaccines and even non deployed got vaccines and they were also affected.
Government lies.
Response is PACE designed to validate CBT and GET
There was no objective measurement,  no blinding a sine quo non for subject data. Original entry requirement was changed and manipulated. Moving goal posts.
D Tuller has done lots of papers regarding PACE Trial by Error was published in three parts in Virology blog -
NICE guidelines on ME are unfit for purpose

Dr. Joseph Jemsek Applying Common Sense and Lessons Learned in Lyme Borreliosis Complex
'Everything I have learned I have learned from patients'
Chronic relapsing or otherwise 'unexplained' encephalopathy ---arthritic and list of symptoms 
Jill Livengood 10 years ago found in all neuronal cells tested observed Borrelia Burgdorferi in all cells. -

Invasion of human neuronal and glial cells by an infectious strain of Borrelia burgdorferi.

70+ papers on persistence in human and animal models
Problem areas not enough treatment for Babesia and Biofilms.
Have to kill what comes out of bio films.
Chronic oxidative stress - chronic inflammation
Discussed limbic system with diagram
2003 Salazar et al found memory CD27 cells in Erythema migrans rashes indicating EM was not first exposure to the organism.
Listed various supportive treatments including Kefir, green tea, Yoghurt, coconut oil
Moles commonly found
Neurofibromas growth on nerves
Bone growth often associated with Bartonella

Dr. Alan MacDonald (via live video link from Florida) Chronic Borreliosis and Chronic Seronegative Lyme Disease ­ DNA Probes Solve a Diagnostic Conundrum
Dr Alan MacDonald's recent work finding Nematode worms in Multiple sclerosis MS patients spinal fluid and also finding Borrelia ( Lyme Disease) in the worms.

London Lecture May 15 2016 from Alan MacDonald on Vimeo.

A really excellent conference. Apologies for any mistakes I may have made in copying up my notes. 

I hope it encourages you to get the original presentations available shortly from AONM website

Lifting the Veil I

Lifting the Veil II

Thursday, 12 May 2016


A Drug Combination Screen Identifies Drugs Active against Amoxicillin-induced Round Bodies of Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters from an FDA Drug Library

Jie Feng1Wanliang Shi1Shuo Zhang1David Sullivan1Paul Auwaerter2 and Ying Zhang1*
  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • 2Fisher Center for Environmental Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Although currently recommended antibiotics for Lyme disease such as doxycycline or amoxicillin cure the majority of the patients, about 10-20% of patients treated for Lyme disease may experience lingering symptoms including fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches. Under stress conditions such as starvation or antibiotic exposure, Borrelia burgdorferi can develop round body forms, which are a type of persister bacteria that are not killed by current Lyme antibiotics. To identify more effective drugs that are active against the round bodies of B. burgdorferi, we established a round body persister model induced by amoxicillin and screened the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug library consisting of 1581 drug compounds and also 22 drug combinations using the SYBR Green I/propidium iodide (PI) viability assay. We identified 23 drug candidates that have higher activity against the round bodies of B. burgdorferi than either amoxicillin or doxycycline. Eleven of these scored better than metronidazole and tinidazole which have been previously described to be active against round bodies. While some drug candidates such as daptomycin and clofazimine overlapped with a previous screen against stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters, additional drug candidates active against round bodies we identified include artemisinin, ciprofloxacin, nifuroxime, fosfomycin, chlortetracycline, sulfacetamide, sulfamethoxypyridazine and sulfathiozole. Two triple drug combinations had the highest activity against round bodies and stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters: artemisinin/cefoperazone/doxycycline and sulfachlorpyridazine/daptomycin/doxycycline. These findings confirm and extend previous findings that certain drug combinations have superior activity against B. burgdorferi persisters in vitro, even if pre-treated with amoxicillin. These findings may have implications for improved treatment of Lyme disease.
Links into earlier posts on Prof Zhang research can be found:- 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Ministers have ordered a major review of the diagnosis, treatment and transmission of Lyme disease amid concern about a quadrupling in cases over the past decade. 

Public Health minister Jane Ellison made the announcement in the Commons following growing public debate about rising numbers of cases of the condition, which can cause neurological damage and crushing fatigue.

Ms Ellison said: "Lyme disease is a complex infection so we recognise that there are real challenges in diagnosis and treatment and in the light of this I'm pleased to say the Department plans to commission three reviews on the diagnosis, the treatment and the transmission of Lyme disease to inform future decision making."
She added: "In addition to the reviews that the Chief Scientific Adviser is overseeing we've actually also commissioned Nice to develop a new evidence-based guideline for care -

Go to The Daily Telegraph for the full report

Today's House of Commons debates - Tuesday 10 May 2016

Lyme Disease

What progress has been made on improving diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.[904940]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jane Ellison):
Lyme disease is a complex infection, so we recognise that there are real challenges in diagnosis and treatment. In the light of this, I am pleased to say that the Department plans to commission three reviews on the diagnosis, treatment and transmission of Lyme disease to inform future decision making.
Andrew Stephenson:
A constituent in Earby was struck down with a debilitating illness several years ago, which has totally destroyed her quality of life. Since then, I have been visiting her regularly at home every few months, as she has fought to get a diagnosis. Over recent months, all the evidence has started to point towards Lyme disease, but there seems to be precious little support out there for people with this condition. What more can my hon. Friend do to support constituents like mine?

Jane Ellison:
In addition to the reviews that the chief scientific adviser is overseeing, we have commissioned the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to develop a new evidence-based guideline for care, specifically to respond to the sort of situation that my hon. Friend describes with his constituent. That is for publication in 2018 and it is being prioritised because of the interest in this area.

Here is the link to the actual announcement in parliament this morning. You need to select 09.47.07 on the RH side.

Thursday, 28 April 2016


Published on Apr 20, 2016 

Ten of the world's top scientists from leading institutions discuss their scientific insights on the problems and potential solutions for Lyme disease.

Senator Richard Blumenthall US Senate Speech

'The cases of Lyme are exploding in number and their severity impacts our economy as well as quality of life for Americans'

Introduced by David Rothman- Lyme Advocate

CDC reported 10 fold increase in the number of cases in 2013.

Dr Neil Spector Cancer researcher talks about implications in organ donation. He had a heart transplant due to undiagnosed Lyme Disease.

'In the era of genomics are we using archaic unreliable methods to test for Lyme?'

Dr William H Robinson Stanford University talks about the need to develop next generation tests that are much more accurate and sensitive to identify people with Borrelia Burgdorferi as well as other tick borne infections.

Dr Safwan Jaradeh Stanford University Neuromuscular and Neurological faculty. 'Nobody seems to think well could it be something like Lyme.'

Dr Brian Fallon Columbia University 
Director of the Lyme and Tick-borne diseases research center at Columbia.
 says - Lyme can cause many symptoms he talks about a child who manifested with compulsive cycling behaviour and anorexia which was caused by Lyme Disease and with treatment symptoms went away.

Dr Neil Spector goes on to say- 'Over 300000 cases a year I think demands more attention than Zika virus which overnight becomes a W.H.O. global health crisis. So it's not to minimize the problems of Zika but it is saying there are children who are equally suffering with Lyme disease and children who may be through the consequences of Lyme Disease dying and adults dying through consequences of Lyme Disease.

Stand 4 Lyme founder Sherry Cagan and her husband, Laird have joined forces with with Stanford Scientists to pave a medical path to wellness for patients at all stages of Lyme Disease. Stanford collaborative research with Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities. 

Dr Philip A Pizzo Stanford University Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Dr Pizzo appointed the Stanford Lyme Working group a collaborative effort between Stanford researchers and other major universities.

Dr Laura Roberts Stanford University says 'Lyme Disease has been neglected scientifically with the Lyme disease working group at Stanford and other universities we are hoping to change that.'

Dr William Robinson - 'Lyme disease shares molecular mechanisms with many different diseases both microbial infections as well as certain inflammatory diseases and the work of the Stanford Lyme working group can help uncover these mechanisms.

Irv Weissman MD Stanford University is working on macrophage problems and persistently infected cells.

Dr Nevena Zubcevk Harvard University is working on - ' Testing blood banks for Lyme and co infections' and also clearing up difficulty we are currently having  with 'In utero transmission of Lyme'

John Nathanial Aucott Johns Hopkins University says this has been an ideal collaboration it has really advanced our ability to do research in Lyme Disease, we collaborate with Dr Bill Robinson at Stanford to develop bio markers or tools to better measure Lyme Disease.

Ying Zhang M.D. PhD Johns Hopkins Medicine
 says' Stand 4 Lyme unique strategy in partnership with top notch scientists from Stanford will ensure that best minds and cutting edge research and diagnostic tools are applied to building a more effective cure  for this complex and illusive disease.  

Saturday, 16 April 2016


Modelling the seasonality of Lyme disease risk and the potential impacts of a warming climate within the heterogeneous landscapes of Scotland

Sen LiLucy GilbertPaula A. HarrisonMark D. A. Rounsevell


Lyme disease is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The abundance of infected nymphal ticks is commonly used as a Lyme disease risk indicator. Temperature can influence the dynamics of disease by shaping the activity and development of ticks and, hence, altering the contact pattern and pathogen transmission between ticks and their host animals. A mechanistic, agent-based model was developed to study the temperature-driven seasonality of Ixodes ricinus ticks and transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato across mainland Scotland. Based on 12-year averaged temperature surfaces, our model predicted that Lyme disease risk currently peaks in autumn, approximately six weeks after the temperature peak. The risk was predicted to decrease with increasing altitude. Increases in temperature were predicted to prolong the duration of the tick questing season and expand the risk area to higher altitudinal and latitudinal regions. These predicted impacts on tick population ecology may be expected to lead to greater tick–host contacts under climate warming and, hence, greater risks of pathogen transmission. The model is useful in improving understanding of the spatial determinants and system mechanisms of Lyme disease pathogen transmission and its sensitivity to temperature changes.

Friday, 15 April 2016


Published on Apr 13, 2016
Dr. Daniel Cameron discusses the shortcomings of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine which claims that long-term antibiotics are ineffective in treating persistent Lyme disease symptoms.

Thank you Dr Daniel Cameron for explaining this so well.

I had been interested to hear how this PLEASE trial progressed but very disappointed when I read the published report in the NEJM. 

My interest was specifically because Clarithromycin has been an antibiotic that has helped me recover from my Lyme Disease more than other antibiotics. It was especially helpful when combined with Hydroxychloroquine. (One of the combinations in the trial). However in my case I still very slowly relapse when antibiotics end and quickly improve on further short courses of clarithromycin. 

The only time I have been symptom free was after a recent stay in hospital with Gall bladder problems and a couple of days of IV ceftriaxone followed by a week oral co amoxiclav but once again symptoms slowly returned. 

Without a good Lyme doctor to guide me I wait in hope of results of better research findings than this PLEASE study.

For me for now the best Guidelines are how I respond to treatment.

The NEJM PLEASE study has been much talked about in the press but some of the more interesting comments are those from patients and their doctors who experience Chronic Lyme Disease - the responses to the article are worth a read 

David Michael Connor Huffington Post-

Holly Aherne Poughkeepsie Journal -

Oh! perhaps I should just give a link to the article that has been so poorly received by the Lyme community -